How to Prepare for Your First Physical Therapy Appointment

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Physical therapy aids recovery from injury, illness, and surgery. It can even replace surgery in some patients, helping to alleviate symptoms to prevent the need for surgical intervention.

But going to your first physical therapy appointment can be scary. Without knowing what to expect it’s easy to build up scenarios in your mind and resist making that essential first step to heal yourself.

Can’t I Do Physiotherapy At Home?

Going to your first appointment is daunting, we know. But you really don’t need to worry!

Physiotherapy appointments are necessary for anyone in need of recovery from injury, illness, or surgery. Your speedy recovery relies on continuing your physiotherapy exercises daily at home, so you need to see your physiotherapist regularly to make sure you’re on the right track.

Your physiotherapist also has access to special techniques and devices to aid your recovery which you won’t be able to get at home. For example, CPM machine rent may not be covered by your health insurance but a physiotherapist could have one to use in your sessions.

How to Prepare for Your Physical Therapy Appointment

Before you go to your appointment there are a few things you can do to help prepare yourself. Follow these steps to reduce your anxiety before your physiotherapy session.

1. Compile Your Medical Notes

Get everything together related to the area that you need to heal. If you’re on any medications remember to write these down, too.

Whether you’ve had an accident or you’re recovering from surgery will affect the type of treatments your therapist will use, so make sure they have all of your medical history to hand.

2. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Your first session will involve a physical exam and some gentle exercises or manual manipulation of the joints.

Wear loose and comfortable clothes that you can easily take off if required. Many people choose to wear exercise shorts and t-shirts to help the therapist examine the areas required without the need to remove many (or any) items of clothing.

3. Write Down a List of Questions

No question is stupid! Write down any questions you have in your mind about your physiotherapy appointment, exercises, and treatment plan.

Your therapist is there to help: access their fountain of knowledge to speed up your recovery time!

4. Check the Appointment Location

Make sure you know where you’re going for your appointment. If you’re feeling anxious, scouting out the location in a ‘dry run’ trip always helps alleviate your worries.

When you know where you need to go, you’ll be able to easily plan a route and transport you’re happy with, which will further reduce stress.

5. Arrive Early to Your First Appointment

At your first appointment, there may be some paperwork to complete. Arrive early so that you can fill out the forms before the appointment starts.

Doing this gives you the maximum time with your therapist on the important parts, and relieves you of the stress of running late, too.

What to Expect in Your First Physiotherapy Session

Your first session will involve a physical examination as part of the initial consultation. This helps your therapist devise a treatment plan that suits your personal needs.

They’ll ask you to show your range of movement around your injury site. This involves gentle movements that they’ll show you how to do. It helps them to understand which physical therapy exercises and treatments to recommend.

When your therapist understands your needs and goals, they’ll show you some exercises to carry out at home. Remember to do these regularly if you want to heal quickly!

More Tips to Heal Fast

Your therapy appointment is the first step to recovering from your injury or surgery. However, your healing doesn’t stop there!

There are plenty of ways to look after yourself during your recovery period to make sure your body – and mind – are as healthy as possible. Check out our latest health blogs for more tips that’ll help you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.